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Wrap it Up: We Review Rain Skirts, Kilts and Wraps

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Jan 23, 2017 03:55 PM |
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The problem: Rain pants are hot and annoying to get on or off. The solution: Rain wraps. They go on and off in seconds, have excellent ventilation and pack down to almost nothing. (Bonus: They're usually cheaper than rain pants!)

The problem: Rain pants are hot and annoying to get on or off.
The solution: Rain wraps. They go on and off in seconds, have excellent ventilation and pack down to almost nothing.
Bonus: They're usually cheaper than rain pants!

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Our reviewer test driving the Lightheart Gear Rain Wrap. Photo by Erika Haugen-Goodman.

Lightheart Gear Rain Wrap

If you like gear with multiple uses, this fits the bill. The waistband is fixed, not elastic, so it lays flat if you want to use it as a picnic cloth, a seating area, or even a tent footprint. You can even throw it over your shoulders as a pack cover.

Our reviewer appreciated the secure, easy-to-operate snap at the waistband. At 3.2 ounces for medium, it's slightly heavier than the other two options. But it’s durable and well made and should last you for many miles on the trail. $55; lightheartgear.com.

Our reviewer testing out the Ultralight Adventure Equipment Rain Kilt. Photo by Erika Haugen-Goodman.

Ultralight Adventure Equipment Rain Kilt

This one hits all the bases.

Waterproof? Check. Our reviewer wore this in a light drizzle that turned into a more consistent rain, and she stayed nice and dry all day without her legs getting hot.

Adjustable fit? Check. ULA suggests those over 5’8” get the large, but the medium’s elastic waistband provided more than ample room for our reviewer's 5’10”, 180-pound frame. Plus, it’s long enough that if worn with tall gaiters, you’ll get full leg coverage. Ideal for hiking through wet, brushy areas.

Integrated stuff sack? Check. Bonus point for the Velcro that seals it shut into a dollar-bill sized pouch.

Lightweight? Check. At 2.9 ounces (for the medium), it’s worth more than its weight in gold, but at 30 dollars, it won’t break the bank. $30; ula-equipment.com.

Mountain Laurel Designs Rain Kilt

If you care about every gram, this is the option for you. The medium weighs 2.3 ounces for the Sil-Nylon version or a minuscule 1.7 ounces for the Cuben-Fiber version.

Our reviewer tried out the kilt on a long backpack trip, which made the light weight especially valuable. The waist band cinches tight, but can also be released to lay flat. The kilt could even work as groundsheet for those who want to go ultralight. $35 Sil-Nylon, $70 Cuben Fiber; mountainlaureldesigns.com.

Be sure to also check out our review of products to help keep clean, protect, and waterproof your gear.

This article originally appeared in the Jan+Feb 2017 issue of Washington Trails Magazine. Support trails as a member of WTA to get your one-year subscription to the magazine.

Comments

Rain Shorts

I recently relicated from rainy Juneau. There I cut the legs off an old pair of rain pants & they worked great for hiking & trail running on rainy days.

Posted by:


Alaska Expat on Feb 02, 2017 08:09 AM

KiltGuide on Wrap it Up: We Review Rain Skirts, Kilts and Wraps

Just like this idea of wearing rain kilts during hiking. I also want to share my experiance of hiking when i wore cotton kilts during hiking.I bought these kilts form some kilt selling company. It was good experiance with cotton fabric. But I really want to buy this rain kilt.From where can I buy this kilt?

Posted by:


KiltGuide on Apr 03, 2017 10:40 PM

She_Dragon on Wrap it Up: We Review Rain Skirts, Kilts and Wraps

I used a rain skirt for my PCT hike this year. I had this short version and it worked great with my shorts. I did, however switch to rain pants for the snow and had wished I had rain pants while in the Glacier Peak Wilderness when it got cold. I did see others with ankle length rain skirts which also seemed like a good solution. For double duty I did use mine inside my tent to protect my down items from my wet pack. Also, I’m know there are less expensive solutions out there for those on a tight budget. (Mine was a gift, but it was maybe $15 on Amazon).

Posted by:


Sarah Wordsworth on Oct 16, 2019 09:33 PM

Salinwa on Wrap it Up: We Review Rain Skirts, Kilts and Wraps

Does the rain not run down and soak the bottom of your pants and get into your shoes?

Posted by:


Salinwa on Oct 19, 2019 01:51 PM

RestStep on Wrap it Up: We Review Rain Skirts, Kilts and Wraps

I've used a Lightheart Gear rain wrap for several years. I also wear a Purple Rain Adventure Skirt (highly recommended), and I make sure the rain wrap is an inch or so longer than the hiking skirt.

When I'm in town for a resupply, I wear my raingear when I'm washing my clothes. Obviously, a rain wrap gaps in (ahem) compromising ways, but I use a couple of diaper pins to hold it in place (yes, diaper pins on my pack, to dry wet socks...diaper pins don't rust, and have a catch which hides the pointy part).

Yes, in answer to a previous question, the rain runs into my trail runners. But because I wear non-waterproof shoes, they dry fairly quickly once the rain has stopped.

Posted by:


RestStep on Feb 18, 2020 05:58 PM